Not too disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

abvidledUK

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I bought the Davida MXDL 3W CR123 torch from Kai
http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/ProductDetail.aspx?TranID=1272

along with the mini Cree star
http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/ProductDetail.aspx?TranID=1340

To mod the MXDL, for brighter, longer output etc.

I was disappointed with the result.

I find the Cree mod results in similar measured output, with shorter RT.

Anyone else find this ?

I compared the original using 3.6v RCR123, and 3.0v RCR123, similar findings.

The mini Cree star is a very loose fit in the MXDL, only addition was to use thermal paste, yet still same repeatable results.

No mods to reflector, just screwed it all up tight, beam is more floody as reflector position not optimum for Cree.

Original LED RT 75 mins, Cree'd RT 45 mins.

Both versions get very hand hot at around 15 mins in.

Perhaps I should slowly screw Cree mounting up to reflector, having pasted threads, to possibly give better reflector positioning, but before I do this, has anyone else found this ? Update, I did try this, no better.

I just hope the DX pre-modded versions are better focussed.
 
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LightScene

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

Dealextreme was selling them pre-modded a couple of days ago for $13. I ordered one. They didn't last long, but they are planning to stock them in the future.
 

abvidledUK

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

More tests, placing small magnifying glass in front of lens, suggests it's a reflector problem, with extra lens, output indeed is much brighter than standard Davida, due to more spotted beam.

So, If I want more focussed beam, do I cut down the reflector ?
 

FlashCrazy

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

Yeah, sounds like you need to get the Cree up higher in the reflector. The Crees are very sensitive to reflector positioning, and some reflectors just won't work no matter what.
 

FlashCrazy

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

I should say with that in mind, you could end up cutting down the reflector and still not get optimum results. Then you'd be left with a reflector that doesn't work for either LED. Decisions, decisions.... :)
 

Nake

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

Shim the star up higher.
 

abvidledUK

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

FlashCrazy said:
I should say with that in mind, you could end up cutting down the reflector and still not get optimum results. Then you'd be left with a reflector that doesn't work for either LED. Decisions, decisions.... :)

I'm hoping someone has already found a solution.

If not, I'll probably leave it floody.

Nake said:
Shim the star up higher.

With the uncut reflector, the Cree led is touching the reflector base, so it won't go higher.
 
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Nake

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Re: Disappointed with Kai Davida MXDL CR123 mini torch and Cree upgrade

[QUOTEWith the uncut reflector, the Cree led is touching the reflector base, so it won't go higher.[/QUOTE]

If you just enlarge the hole so the Cree ring goes partially into the reflector it won't screw up the reflector for say a Seoul, if you decided to put one in. I've gone to a Seoul from a Cree with the same reflector and the beam was good. Of course it wasn't the reflector you're using.
 

abvidledUK

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Now that night-time has come, it's actually not too bad, as a wide, bright indoor flood light.

It does light up a room better than the original, even better than the more focussed Cree'd Elly, but I cannot see it being much use outdoors.

The vastly curtailed RT is not too good either. 45 mins is now 30 mins less than the original LED.

So, I have changed my opinion slightly, still prefer more focussed beam, but ok for indoor use, around dusk, and before I go to sleep, as it's a bit bright for night-time wanderings when woken, still like my L1P's for that.
 
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selfbuilt

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FYI, I just did a similar mod with a SSC emitter, and the output is fantastic:
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/posts/1926779

No mod of the reflector is needed, fits like a glove, well-focused. Throw has doubled, and overall output has trippled, according to my light meter. Runtime is unaltered at 41mins for old AW protected RCR (blue label)

Here's a sample comparison pic with a P1DCE on primary:

MXDL-SSC on left, P1DCE on medium (primary) on right
Davida8.jpg


On high-current AW protected RCR123A, 750mAh (black label):
MXDL-SSC on left, P1DCE on high on right
Davida9.jpg


I highly recommend this mod. A little more work to mount the SSC emitter, but well worth it for the outcome.
 

2xTrinity

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The mod is awesome. The light appears to be semi-regulated (there are some transistors and an inductor, didn't take it all apart to see how the circuit worked) -- draws about 650mA from a CR123 primary, 750mA from fresh rechargeable. A direct drive draws something like 1.4A from the rechargeable, and ~250mA from the primary.

I just chopped off the corners of a standard-sized Cree star (A "reject" from a Cree light that had poor tint) until it fit, and sanded down the bottom of the reflector until the Cree just fit inside the hole at the bottom. It's tightly focused, and throws a nice wide flood beam. Almost identical beam pattern to Cree Elly, but kicks the crap out of the Elly for overall output, and size. The DX light at $13 which is basically pre-modded is a good deal if you want cheap lumens in a small package.

The final change that I made is that I wrapped a thin layer of aluminum backed tape around the threads to make them grippier, so it takes more force to turn the light off and on -- before the head would come loose when I turned the light off.
 
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abvidledUK

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OK, I've decided I didn't like, or need the Cree'd output, so I've removed the mini Cree, got ally thermal paste all over my fingers, good wipe down, replaced original LED, not too bad a beam after all.

More useful to me, for indoor use, now I have P4, P2D etc for outside use.

There was one funny, I found it hard to turn OFF the MXDL.

Worked out it was down to ally thermal paste on the threads, cleaned it off, no probs now.
 
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